Easter celebrations in Lebanon.
So often I wonder about the change in the way I view the celebrations I grew up with.
As much as I enjoyed Easter traditions, as a child I disliked all the fuss we had to do:
Cleaning the house as if it hasn’t been cleaned for years.
Buying new beautiful clothes just because it is Easter and we are going to church ( I liked this bit) although we went to church regularly.
Making Maamoul (similar to mice pies stuffed with walnuts or pistachios) and Sewa (stuffed with dates), lots of them, to offer to guests in addition to sugar almonds, bonbons, chocolate and liquor.
I use to wait for my dad when he returned from visiting as I was certain his pockets were full of those tasty treats.
Colouring eggs, in my youth, onion skin and the odd piece of materials were the only way to colour the eggs and it was the surprise we get when they are ready.
Rice pudding was for our enjoyment only. We had it with a coloured egg or two for breakfast on Easter morning.
Having our front door opened for 3 days for visitors to come along. Family, neighbours and friends all came. Men did the rounds the first 2 days, women stayed at home to welcome visitors. Then families visited families from day 3 onwards.
Easter day we had to eat white so dishes with rice and yoghurt as it symbols new beginning, hence the tradition of eggs too.
It was time to be really engaged with the community as a whole, to visit and be visited and to share all the sweet offerings. And it was fun and comforting.
Now, in my late 50s I appreciate more than ever those traditions.
With my husband, children and in-laws I keep some of those traditions alive. On Easter day at breakfast we compete cracking coloured eggs and eat them with rice pudding and Maamoul (no one in family like Sewa, so I make them for me). At lunch we eat white.
What matters the most is for us to remember that it is a time for new beginnings. So let’s celebrate.
Intrigued? Allow me to make your celebration an event to remember.
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